Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a condition which causes the skin to become irritated and inflamed. Symptoms include redness, swelling, itching, dryness, blistering, cracking, oozing, and sometimes bleeding
of the skin. It is often hereditary and is commonly associated with asthma
and allergies. With proper treatment and skin care, the condition can be controlled in the majority of cases.
Keeping the skin moisturized is the key to the treatment of eczema. There are many things you can do to prevent your skin from drying out such as limiting exposure to hot water. This can be easily accomplished by taking short, warm showers and using a gentle soap such as Dove only on obviously dirty areas and your face, underarms, feet and groin. After your shower, pat dry with a towel instead of rubbing dry. While your skin is still damp apply a good quality moisturizer such as Eucerin or Aveeno to your skin and allow to dry. Moisturizer frequently throughout the day. It is good to avoid chemical irritants as you are already doing, such as using a fragrance free detergent for your laundry.
These at home treatments are often enough to keep symptoms under control, however, prescription medicine is sometimes needed for acute flares or more severe forms of eczema. It is important to see your primary care provider or dermatologist
to make sure you have the right diagnosis and to discuss an appropriate treatment plan.